If you’re just itching to swim, you don’t want to let anything get in your way, not even the robotic pool cleaner. However, can you really blame your trusty pool cleaner for dutifully doing its job? Perhaps you should simply leave it alone so it can clean in peace.
While you can technically swim with a pool vacuum, it’s generally not a good idea. Your constant splashing around can make it difficult for it to properly clean your pool. Plus, there is a small risk of electric shock if the robotic cleaner has its power cable yanked out. It’s better if you just let the robotic cleaner clean in peace and swim after it’s done.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why it’s not a good idea to swim with a pool vacuum. You can then decide for yourself if you think the risks are worth it, or if they are a non-issue.
Why you shouldn’t swim with a pool vacuum
It will not clean as effectively
If you decide to go swimming with the pool vacuum, know that your splashing and movements are churning up the water.
With the pool vacuum cleaning at the same time, the currents will buffet it, impeding its ability to clean properly. It needs to work harder to do the same job.
Increases wear and tear
Furthermore, if the machine is left in the water when you add chlorine, the sudden shift in acidity can damage the plastic. Repeated exposure can cause the plastic to deteriorate faster than normal.
In a similar vein, leaving it outside can expose it to the elements, particularly the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can degrade the plastic components.
Constant exposure to water can eventually cause the seals of the water-resistant pool vacuum to eventually deteriorate, allowing water to reach the electrical components.
If you’re too busy swimming, then you’re not paying attention to the pool vacuum. If its filters end up getting clogged, water will not pass through as efficiently. This means the motor has to work harder to pass water through, making it far less energy-efficient and potentially burning out the motor.
Risk of electric shock
It is unlikely but not impossible for a faulty or damaged robotic pool vacuum to shock someone to death. Statistically, pool electrocutions occur due to electrical faults from underwater lights, not pool vacuums.
That said, pool robots do run on electricity delivered via a floating cord. If the cord should get damaged while you are swimming in the pool, then the electrical current will end up traveling through water and anything still in the pool.
For this reason, it is imperative that pool vacuums are connected to circuits or outlets that have GFCI protections. GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interrupter, will trip the circuit breaker if there is a short circuit anywhere in the electrical system. It’s recommended that all electrical circuits that are used in or near water are installed on an outlet with GFCI protections.
The power supply unit is not waterproof
As the heading states, the power supply unit of pool vacuums is water-resistant, but not waterproof. It doesn’t have enough protection if rain is pouring or if water is constantly being splashed on it.
If you decide to go swimming while the pool vacuum is going, then you may accidentally splash some water on the power supply unit nearby. It’s best to store the machine and its power supply in a covered area when it’s not in use. And it shouldn’t be in use while you’re swimming.
Why you should remove the robotic pool vacuum after it’s done cleaning
Even though pool vacuums are designed to be left in the water, it’s generally better to take it out once it’s done cleaning. There are many reasons for this.
First, it’s a good habit to take it out and clean the filter basket, bags, or cartridges. That way it will function at 100% capability each time you use it. A dirty filter makes the motor work harder, wearing it down, and also makes it harder for the machine to clean effectively.
Second, if you just leave the pool vacuum outdoors for the whole season, then it will be exposed to plenty of chlorine and UV rays. As mentioned, both of these things can wear down the plastic components, first discoloring it, then making it more brittle until it cracks and breaks.
Third, we are concerned primarily with the waterproof seals on the unit. If the seals fail and water makes its way to the power supply unit or the floating cord, there is a chance for it to electrify the pool, which is obviously very dangerous.
I think at the very least, you should remove the pool vacuum after each cleaning cycle just so you can clean the filter basket. This will help extend its lifespan since it will suffer less wear and tear.
What happens if you leave the robotic pool cleaner in the pool?
Robotic cleaners are meant to spend a long time in the water, yes, but you need to be smart about it. Literally leaving it outdoors all season long will cause you to run into the problems outlined above.
There are certain times when it’s a good idea to take the pool vacuum out of the water.
For instance, if you and other guests are in the pool, you don’t want it to get in your way, nor you in its way. It just makes its job harder, and somebody might accidentally pull on its power cord.
If you are about to add a bunch of chemicals to your pool, you should remove the pool vacuum until the proper chemical balance is established before placing the unit back into the pool.
Again, leaving the pool cleaner out all season long leaves it exposed to an abundance of sunlight and changes in the water chemistry that can cause significant wear and tear.
That said, during the summer, the robot will probably be in the pool most of the time except when people are swimming.